City Council Meeting 06/04/2018

City-NEws-e1455073509249

The Charlestown City Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 6:30pm. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (24:40) at the end.

 

*NOTE* – I usually publish these summaries without commentary for informational purposes only. Tonight’s meeting was different, and personal commentary follows the summary. 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance – Led by Christopher Early, rising 6th grader, who collected $809 for the Crusade for Children via a lemonade stand. He previously has collected $2,700 for Leukemia and Lymphoma of Louisville. Christopher will soon collect for St. Jude. Mayor Hall thanked Christopher for his passion for the community.
  2. Invocation – led by L.C. McCawley of the Charlestown Church of God
  3. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – In attendance were: Ted Little, Brian Hester, Mike Vaughn, Tina Barnes, and J.T. Cox in addition to Bob Hall, Donna Coomer, and Michael Gillenwater.
  4. Approval of Agenda
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  5. Approval of previous meeting’s minutes, claims, and payroll allowance docket from 05/06/2018 to 06/02/2018 combined into one motion
    • Motion made by J.T. Cox
    • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  6. Public Comment – Treva Hodges
    • I spoke tonight on behalf of both of my properties. I previously addressed these concerns at the 05/21/2018 Board of Public Works meeting. The first concern regards my home at 339 Oriole Drive where one of my neighbors, Daniel Brafford, has appeared before the Board of Public Works regarding flooding on his property due to inadequate drainage from the cemetery. The flooding has a significant impact on his property, on Oriole Drive, and on Market Street as the water has nowhere to go. I explained that, Mr. Brafford has not received any assurance that the issue is being corrected and I asked the Council to follow up on his behalf and for all of us who live on Oriole Drive.
    • The second issue I mentioned deals with my property at 1136 Main Street. The dilapidated building at 270 Madison Street that borders my property has been a health and safety hazard for some time. My husband and I have both addressed this concern at the Board of Public Works on two separate occasions this year with no response. I included pictures of the building and explained that it has fostered an environment of increased criminal activity. We have had to call the police five times in the past year to address theft and trespassing on the property. Additionally, graffiti has become offensive and I included pictures of the images I see when I stand in my back yard. (Included as files below – images offensive.) I asked the council to address this building.
    • Mayor Hall responded to my concerns – I address this more below in my commentary. He said that the problem on Oriole Drive is well documented, very expensive, and that it would be cheaper to buy the homes affected than to repair the problem. For the 1136 Main Street issue, the Mayor said that there was a buyer for that property but that the Plan Commission would not approve their business plan and make the proper zoning allowances. He said that the building is a problem and that the City cares about such structures. He said that there will be an announcement in a month or so that will end the problem.
  7. Ordinances and Resolutions
    • Resolution Number 2018-R-6 – A Resolution for Transfer of Funds – This resolution transfers $314,000 from the Capital Trust Fund to the EPIC Fund for Construction of Sidewalks, Installation of Street Lights, New Signage, and Repairs and Remediation.
      • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
      • During discussion Brian Hester and Mike Vaughn said they appreciate the improvements made in their districts. Mr. Hester said he has heard mostly positive comments about the improvements.
      • Unanimous approval
  8. Mayor’s Update
    • The Charlestown Volunteer Fire Department collected a record amount ($62,000) for the Crusade for Children this year. This placed them 8th out of 153 departments and was more than twice what Jeffersonville and Clarksville collected.
    • Paving and improvements on Monroe Street continue.
    • The dog park is planned to open in August. The Council can expect an ordinance about use in the coming month.
    • The High School boasted 20% of graduating seniors receiving Associate Degrees this year. Since 2008 the number of students who have acceptance into college, vocational, or military institutions has increased with this year’s number at 99%.
    • Charlestown currently has nine active subdivisions under construction. This brings about 1,000 new residents each year.
    • Summer activities in the park include movies, sports camps, and the water park.
    • Founders Day will be June 22-23. This year there will be a parade, fireworks, bands, helicopter rides, and amusements. Donna Coomer thanked the Chairmen who have helped put Founders Day tougher this year with a record number of sponsors.
  9. Point of Personal Privilege requested by Treva Hodges – Following Robert’s Rules of Order, a person may call a “Point of Personal Privilege” to address “matters of comfort, amplification, or safety.” My request was denied by Bob Hall. (Commentary on this is addressed below.)
  10. Adjournment
    • Motion made by J.T. Cox
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous approval

*Personal Commentary* – At the end of this meeting I asked for a Point of Personal Privilege as a matter of safety to repair damage done by the Mayor’s comments to my personal reputation. The Mayor’s response to my public comment implied that I lied in my statements. My direct words about the flooding that affects Mr. Brafford’s property were, “So far he [Mr. Brafford] isn’t aware of any efforts to fix this major flooding issue.” The Mayor responded to my statement by saying, “I seriously doubt that Mr. Brafford said that he’s not aware of any efforts.” I asked for a point of privilege to request that Mayor Hall correct his statement of doubt about my reporting of my conversation with Mr. Brafford so that any damage to my reputation would be mitigated. Such a response in a public meeting in front of my peers casts my character in an unfavorable light and can potentially damage my standing within the community. I did NOT misrepresent Mr. Brafford’s conversation with me, and Mr. Brafford knew of my intentions to pursue this matter as a fellow concerned resident of Oriole Drive. The Mayor should be more careful with his words and should treat citizens with the respect that he hopes to receive in kind. He should also run the meetings in full accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, not with his own personal modifications or lack of understanding of those rules.  

Full audio (24:40) of Meeting here: 

Images of the offensive graffiti and damaged building that were presented to the Council tonight as evidence: (my apologies for the offensive nature of these)

 

 

Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

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